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Charles François Gounod
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Johann Strauss II
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
(1836 - 1891)
While most famous for his ballets, Delibes is also the composer of Lakmé, a staple in the French operatic repertory. He attended the Paris Conservatory and in 1855 wrote an operetta, Deux sous de charbon, introduced in Paris. Between 1862 and 1871 he was organist at the church of St. Jean St Francois. In 1865 he became second chorus master at the Opéra.
His first ballet, La source, was a major success when introduced at the Opéra in 1866. His second ballet Coppélia, performed in 1870, was an even greater triumph.
In 1873, he wrote his first opera, Le Roi l'a dit , given at the Opéra - Comique. Lakmé came a decade later, bringing its composer to the front rank of French composers for the stage.
In 1881, Delibes was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatory and, in 1884, member of the Institut de France. Besides the operas mentioned above, Delibes wrote Jean de Nivelle in 1880, and Kassya, which was finished by Massenet after the composer's death.
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